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Dec. 13th, 2008

It's funny, I don't really care about christmas this year. Usually I get at least a little excited, but it just seems like a time suck in my head at the moment, and I'm not really all that excited about it other than getting to see the people I care about. It's kind of just an excuse, really.

Sadly, I don't really feel I can do what I wanted to do for Christmas for people, which was make a donation in their honour since I don't really want to give people a bunch of stuff that will just sit around being stuff. But, I think if I do this at work most people might not really appreciate it, and might be a little offended, especially if they picked up something for me (and last year the whole department I work in really went overboard, especially seeing as I wasn't even really a permanent employee in it and was only supposed to be there for 3 months). Also, in terms of family for some reason my family members generally see gift-giving as a really important part of Christmas, though some are certainly more flexible about it--I think some relatives might even be offended if I made a donation in their honour.

In any case, Friday was mostly a bad day wherein we got the bad news that we do actually have to move our entire bedroom downstairs since the city inspector will not do two inspections. We also drove across the city to find out that the store we were looking for had closed early due to a christmas party, for heaven's sake. This is after I went to the pains of looking up their hours in their most recent ad. But the cool part of Friday entailed me slathering up with vaseline (ugh--difficult to wash off, and I had a vaseline-like taste in my mouth the whole rest of the night) and having a cast made from belly to shoulders (that part was actually kind of relaxing). The baby did NOT like the mould-making process, and started kicking and shifting around massively as soon as the first plaster strips were laid on my skin! Poor baby. The cast'll eventually get used as a mould for art purposes by one of Adrian's family friends, which is very cool to me. It was definitely an interesting experience, and I like thinking that I inspired someone's artistic creation.

And the shower was a whole load of fun, to get to see so many friends and family was awesome! Adrian and I were also blown away by the generousity of everyone there, and let me tell you it is a massive, massive help to us that so many people took the time to contribute or get or make us so many wonderful gifts. We've really been worried (probably more so me, but I know Adrian has as well) about being able to afford a lot of the baby supplies since we have to fund the renos, pay up crazy amounts of insurance before I go on leave, and lose the majority of the household income while I am at home with the baby for the first year. It's still a worry, but being prepared helps a lot (heh--so does the drop in prime, since our line of credit is conveniently based on it).

Anyhow, Adrian is at his CPR course today, and I'm going to go look at chairs since we'll need one for the nursery. I'm headed off to the outlet again in the hopes that they will actually be open and I won't be heading on a wild goose chase for the second time this week!

Hope you're enjoying the snow... I am because it's very beautiful though I'm not enjoying walking outside :)

Back in Winnipeg


Lots of stuff going on lately!

As of today I am officially a Certified Asthma Educator--I got the envelope in the mail today and figured if a large envelope says "DO NOT BEND" in massive letters, it's most likely good news, and it was. All that hard work paid off, and at least I didn't short out on Halloween and Adrian's birthday for nothing ;)

One of my close friends went in for an elective C-section last Friday while we were away and has a beautiful baby boy, her third son! I haven't seen him yet, but hopefully before my vacation is up I can stop by for a visit.

Yesterday was my birthday, and we had a nice dinner at home. Andrew stopped by and visited, which was cool, and I made my first experimental batch of fudge ever last night. And it turned out pretty well, though I learned a few fudge lessons already.

Our trip ended last Friday, and we got home late last Friday night. After 4 nights in Ottawa, a Via Rail trip to Montreal, and 4 nights there I think Adrian and I were both ready to get back to our own space for a little while. We spent most of our time in Ottawa visiting friends and seeing the sights. Montreal we opted for a museum passport (awesome deal, btw), lots of walking around the downtown and assorted nearby areas, and a couple of movies (Quantum of Solace and Twilight) mostly to avoid more walking! I think we must have walked 6 hours every day on average.

This week is my last week of vacation. The trip helped me realise how much more tired I am getting, and I hope I didn't hold Adrian back too much, but I can't really change anything. All I can try to do is work around it. I think it's going to be pretty hard going back to work, especially when next Monday is the start of our renovations. I'll also have a pile from the last 3 weeks on my desk I'm sure, nevermind that I have to try and get things ready for my replacement (hopefully they'll be interviewing at least, if not actually hiring by the time I get back).

I've been slowly working to clear out the upstairs for the renos, but it hasn't been going all that well. Adrian's been working an awful lot as well since they have a deadline to meet at work, which is making it difficult since there's only so much lifting I can do (which is very little these days when I have to carry these objects down stairs I am not very steady on since if I hold something I most definitely cannot see my feet anymore--a novel, yet terrifying, experience when my centre of balance isn't stable). In any case, let's just say that there's an awful lot to be done that I just can't seem to get done no matter how hard I try.

I wish I had someone around who had the time to help me out.

My family is also throwing a baby shower this Sunday, so it'll be awesome to see lots of people I don't always have a chance to see.

AND I'm thinking of moving my book review blog to another space so that I can more easily access certain administrative details and stick it up on the wordpress site itself. I just can't seem to get this one working all that well remotely, and things haven't been coming together, so it might just be easier to go about things from another angle and import everything from the last one.

In terms of the other angle thing, I'm starting to freak out a little more about the maternity leave budget. These renos are really going to stretch things, but they have to get done... Hard times ahead for the short term anyhow. I suppose I'll have to learn to ration myself and cook more cheaply than we normally do.

In any case, I should go and try to work on stuff. Mostly cause I suck at it ;)

It's been a while. There's lots of stuff that's been going on, but I probably won't write about all of it because some of it isn't even my story to tell.

I finished the national asthma educator exam (I suspect a 70% chance of passing) after a halloween that was mildly exciting, but mostly just tiring. Adrian handed out candy while I worked on random exam-related things, then we went over to Noah's house party since I wasn't really up to socials or martini bars, which were our other options. I didn't really have all that much halloween spirit this year I am sorry to say, though I managed to win a carved pumpkin at work (it was carved like a Jack Skellington face) which was kinda nice since I usually don't win much of anything in draws.

We didn't even really celebrate Adrian's birthday and I feel a little badly that I didn't manage to do anything particularly special, but to be fair, he just wanted to kick back and relax the day after and that's just what we did. In fact, I recruited my dad to help me do some of the yard and outdoor stuff that's been dogging Adrian and got further cleaning up the house so he could relax a little more.

We also gave up on people interested in our "junk" since it's been taking up space and took it to Value Village. There might be some other things to add into that category, but I think we're both kind of willing to take a break from cleaning stuff up at the moment. It's kind of funny--we never really do a spring cleaning, but fall cleanings seem to happen more often. We still have to get the rat cages ready to sell, and there are definitely some existing boxes of crap to be sorted from the basement...

Speaking of, if anyone wants a slightly decrepit christmas tree, you can have ours for free since we received another one last year with the death of a relative... It's fine, just has a one foot on the stand that cracked and is a little unsteady (but definitely still stable, as we set it up a couple years ago and it never tipped).

I'm also excited because instead of Minneapolis, we have opted to go to Ottawa and Montreal for our vacation!! So please pass on suggestions for things to do (we'll be about 4 days in each place), especially things that may be off the beaten track. I get to discover new places! So!!! happy!!! It makes me glee in glee because I have never been to either place and we get to visit some awesome friends in Ottawa! *glee*

...But I do need to get back to work rather than just gush about how excited I am.


Well, it appears that the snoogle pillow craziness actually has been helping. I have been sleeping marginally better than before, which has only lately been interrupted by much night time coughing (which is now improving again), and once that stops, I expect the sleeping to improve further.

I'm now on the verge of entering the third trimester apparently, which is not as exciting as it sounds. We still haven't done all that much for the baby preparations, but renovations are in the works. We're currently working on financing and hammering out the contract & dates for the work to take place, which will entail redoing and properly insulating the upstairs bedrooms. I'm hoping this can happen with as little disruption to our lives as possible, but I kind of doubt it since we'll probably have to move sleeping quarters to the main floor, and I have no clue how to move our bedroom furniture down ourselves without scratching it.

Halloween is coming up, and we've been invited to a wedding social the night of, plus a smaller party. We'll also be giving out candy for trick-or-treaters most likely, so I'm not sure how that night will play out. I don't want to miss seeing the people at the social, however, socials are not all that fun for me at the moment given the fact that I'm not all that mobile dancing-wise anymore, and I can't drink anyway. Most socials are pretty difficult to talk and socialize at, so I'm thinking we might not attend (though we may buy tickets anyway).

I also would like a decent halloween costume this year, but so far the winning suggestion has been the character from Juno, which just isn't my favourite idea. And I'd have to probably make it myself or use maternity clothing to do it given my size, unless I wanted to somehow wear a box, which just isn't comfy. I've done it before.

I'm also somewhat dissatisfied in regards to work. I'm not really sure what to do about it at the moment, but whatever.

We've been putting our movie village membership to judicious use lately, which has resulted in some more French movies, some Penn & Teller's Bullshit (TV series), and several other movies. Currently awaiting viewing is Joyeux Noel (a French movie about the WWI xmas ceasefire celebrations I believe), Swing Kids, and more P&T BS (which is interesting in its staunch libertarian position)

Otherwise... well... I've been not accomplishing all that much. Still attending French class, but not managing to get to the gym--I now have pants that fit again, but with this cold setting off my asthma so stupidly, it's been an issue since I don't want to trigger things off what with the baby and all.

Been feeling like I have way too many commitments to keep a handle on, and like I'm barely treading water at the moment. And they just seem to keep adding up. At least when I was doing shift work I could opt out of things simply because I was doing shift work, but now I have no excuse, and now I have to pick and choose, which I don't really enjoy doing in the first place. I also find that these commitments are taking centre stage rather than the house (which really needs stuff done) or health (especially in terms of gym attendance and eating at home) or just conserving energy (I really don't have as much lately).

I also have to start studying for the national Asthma Educator certification exam, which will be happening November 1. I haven't even cracked the books since I took the course back in April, which I think was very poor timing, but work required I take it as soon as available rather than waiting for the September course. So now I have about 2 weeks to study on top of everything else, and both weekends are already booked up with things. And the exam is on Adrian's bday to boot (Nov 1) which is also, of course, right after halloween. So really, I'm quite pressed for time for this stupid thing.

Sigh. Back to work I guess.

Groceries and Snoogling

I just had the healthiest breakfast ever: half a bag of Hershey's kisses.

My child is doomed ;)

Yesterday was decently productive. Adrian and I managed to clean out the fridge (not much was left that was actually edible) and our lower kitchen cupboards. As a result we have a wok awaiting value village (unless someone really wants it; it's not high quality, but if you want it, it's yours), took a basket of goods we will likely never use (mostly Kraft dinner and pre-packaged rice/noodles from when we left my parents' place) to a Winnipeg Harvest drop-box, and organized what we had left into some semblance of order. We also went shopping at Costco and picked up some really tasty-looking veggies & fruits, salad greens, hummus, salmon, and drinks--I was impressed that they carry steaz now, which quickly ended up in the cart as a luxury purchase. Actually, now that I think of it the only thing we missed grabbing was vegetable broth, and we opted out of tomato paste (because no one needs a costco-sized container of tomato paste unless they run a restaurant or a commune).

Er... thus ends my dissertation on our grocery buying habits.

I am also trying out the snoogle pillow in hopes that it might net me a better night's sleep. I figured it was a good choice also since it can be rearranged to use for nursing and general pillowy goodness. It's a little expensive, but I tried it last night and it was fairly comfy until the fabric made my skin itch horribly; so badly in fact that I was waking up Adrian with all my scratching even after switching out to my other pillow (he made me wash down with a wet cloth so he could sleep, which did help a little). To be fair, this isn't an uncommon skin reaction that I have when I use new products/clothes unwashed (I suspect it has something to do with chemical starch/preservatives or whatever, though I also react to wool--not a problem in this case). I was just hoping I might not have to wash the cover first so if I hated it I could just take it back! However, looks like I'll just have to suck it up if I want to try it sans itch.

In any case, I'm just blathering now.

Oct. 4th, 2008

My ever so exciting Friday night included voting at the advance polls (mostly for convenience). After hearing the tail end of the debate, there wasn't much doubt who I was voting for (Green Party), though my area is overwhelmingly NDP. Which is fine, at least my vote was cast even though it probably won't push anything much except some financing for the party next time around.

Speaking of, I hope you're all planning to vote. It will warm the cockles of my heart to hear that you did... (Actually I just wanted to write "cockles" because I find it an intensely amusing word, but you get the idea.)

Sheryl Crow, by the way, put on an awesome show with some neat lighting effects, and had somewhat larger a backing band than I expected. I would have only wished for less arena distortion of the acoustics and possibly a video screen so she was more visible from a distance. Granted, I haven't been to any other arena-size concerts, so I don't really know what the potential "best" is acoustically--maybe it was really quite excellent after all. The baby started kicking up a storm during a few of her older songs, which I take to mean he was excited/liked the music (filtered through amniotic fluid and immature ears though it was).

Regarding that list of stuff to do from last week: the only thing completed is that the bookcases are all downstairs. The books are not in them, but at least they're downstairs. Apparently I'm not making much headway, but whatever.

I've also been tossing around the idea that we should start budgeting as though I was on maternity leave so that we can start getting used to spending less. We don't tend to spend much money on random purchases, so I'm not really sure how to go about this one. I guess maybe we'll just be eating less since I don't see giving up the internet... Eating out less for sure, but perhaps also eating less in general :P

Time will tell I suppose, but it's probably better to start early rather than later so we get used to it. Perhaps we should open up another chequing account for spending money only and switch our debit card access to that. It seems a little silly in my eyes, but maybe it would help keep us from spending.

Also, the prenatal classes are now done, so that's some relief in the schedule. I don't have to continue to worry about getting there in time and getting food in time to get to class. But it seems a little early to be done with it, so it's kind of odd.

In any case, I should get going and maybe actually do something...

Alone for the day

Adrian has toddled off to work for the day, or at least until he hits a certain point on their current project. So I am at home and pretty much just hanging out for the moment. I don't really have any plans for the day other than just catching up on some email and bloggery-type business, which probably won't take all that much time in the great scheme of things.

There's a whole whackload of things that need to get done around the house, though I can't really do them. Or at least, not alone (some because I lack a vehicle). For example... well, here, I'll just make a partial list.
  • Lawn must be mowed, fallen crabapples raked, and large pile of crabapple choppings autobinned
  • Digging out the trees in the remaining wildest garden patch and sawing them off under ground level using the reciprocating saw
  • Possible disposal of patio furniture, which is on the rickety side
  • Cleaning out the eavestroughs
  • Disposal of broken mattresses from the basement (we didn't know they were broken when we took them)
  • Bookcase #2 moved down the stairs, bookcase #3 emptied (mostly full of heavy textbooks) and moved down the stairs
  • Finishing up cleaning out the rat cages and possibly selling them
  • Dropping crap off at Value Village and selling off the boxes of books no one has taken
There's a lot of tidying I could be doing instead I suppose, but I'm really not feeling all that much like doing it. And unfortunately the living room is covered in books waiting for a bookcase to get filled. I would hang the poster that's waiting in the living room for a hanger doodle, but I need to put the bookcases in place first, otherwise it's kind of moot. I wish I had a cleaning buddy or something. There's so much crap to get done, and I haven't got much motivation to do it.

Other than that, things are going decently well. We're in the midst of getting an estimate for having the nursery and our bedroom cleared out back to the studs, putting in some extra storage, and having the kneewall spaces properly sealed and insulated. It looks like it might run us around $15000 for the whole thing, more like $3500 for just the nursery and kneewalls. But if we leave the bedroom it will be much colder than it already is since it'll be unbalanced heating-wise by the insulated area. And it would be nice to have a finished-looking bedroom if nothing else in the house...

I'm starting to wonder if we might not do better by doing the cosmetic things to the house and thinking about selling it in favour of trading up. Economically it's starting to look like a bright idea (especially nice since the interest/mortgage rates have dropped), but I guess we'll see. Adrian isn't really wanting to move, and the other people I've mentioned it to just react by saying why would I want to stress myself out by trying to get the house ready to sell and then buying a new place. All I can say is that there's a certain amount of financial stress that I feel in terms of getting the house upgraded, and to be honest the whole baby thing has brought it to the forefront more so in my mind.

Anyhow, sitting here writing about it isn't getting anything much done, so I should probably get off my duff. We're heading out tonight to the Sheryl Crow concert as well, so I only have limited time...

Ultrasound and other stuff!

I had the ultrasound last Monday and haven't really had much time to post anything since. Work has kept me pretty busy, and evenings have been filled with errands, prenatal classes, my first French class of the season, and sleep. Sleep is good. Sleep starting at 10-something at night is becoming oddly common for me, which is good in one sense, but disquieting in another since I am normally a night-owl type.

Anyhow, the ultrasound took much more time than I anticipated. I was expecting about 30 mins or so for the full thing, but they had to take so many images that it actually took more like 75 mins or so, and the baby only mildly didn't co-operate for a brief moment in time. I actually didn't really have that much trouble with the procedure other than boredom because a) I couldn't see the screen at all while the pictures were being done and b) the tech was not talkative. At all. I think she maybe spoke 4 sentences that weren't related directly to instructing me what to do (and there wasn't much of that, either). It was a little odd, to be honest, but whatever. I think by the end of it I had about 2 cm deep of sonic goo on my belly, and no matter how many towels they put on to "protect your clothes," it always somehow manages to result in a wet patch on my pants.

Now ultrasounds aren't god (or even god-like) so there is a chance we will end up surprised, but it appears that we're having a boy and the hotdog theory won out (I personally don't have much doubt). It was a little disappointing because Adrian was really hoping for a girl since his family is almost all men (and I was a little disappointed for him and the fact that I couldn't taunt my mostly-girl family with another girl), but it's a boy, and so far it's a healthy boy, and that makes me happy.

It probably makes my dad ecstatic to not be saddled with a granddaughter after all sisters, all daughters, etc. and have the chance to have a grandson.

And really, it figures since we had our girl's name picked out but only vague thoughts of boy's names. This is actually not entirely true, because I have had a boy's name in mind for years and years, but one of our friends also shares it and that just seems, well, awkward to me anyway (no, it's not you, Andrew). It has also become a somewhat popular name in the last few years, so that makes me hesitate a little as well, though not as much.

As tempting as it is to pick out a joke name that relates to some arcane science fiction moment, that seems vaguely... cruel. What if our kid hates science fiction? Hey, it's possible.

I'm getting a kick out of the people who keep asking me why I would want to find out what the sex is, and don't I want to be surprised, and what if... I point out to such people that I'm going to find out eventually. They usually get a semi-thoughtful look and say something along the lines of, "I guess I never thought about it like that..." This mostly serves to make me giggle a little inwardly.

Regardless, I should head off and get some other stuff done. Oh, and we will not be getting any images of the ultrasound, so don't hold your breath. We would have to shell out $50 for a grainy 2D recording and I don't really care that much.

Brief update

Went shopping for various things today, and since I haven't for a long while (other than maternity-related clothes) some of the prices took me by surprise. I mean, I was expecting to pay a little more at organza, but some of the products are just crazy high in price. I mean, a twelve dollar (small) bag of organic perogies? I'll make my own thank you. Plus, it's a real shame that when I was looking at getting music, there are some major artists, but the stores only carry best of albums for them! I mean, some of those albums are concept albums, etc. so it's somewhat discouraging (baby soundtrack to be will likely include Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Daft Punk, and the Fugees amongst others).

However! Walmart apparently now carries World's Finest chocolate. If any of you ever had to sell those stupid chocolate-covered almonds with the gas/pizza hut coupons, you can now walk down memory lane and munch as you go. They also have mint meltaways and the caramel whirls. This excites me in some vague way, but it still doesn't replace the awesome milk chocolate bunnies they used to make us sell... they were sooo good.

Yesterday was a useful, busy day and we managed to get gravel for the hole, get it in the hole, and partly fill the hole. It's so awesome to be able to accomplish things. Adrian also replaced the innards of the toilet tank, and we both did lots of clean-up-ery. Tomorrow morning is going to be the ultrasound... I'm excited and nervous about it. Hopefully I will sleep ok since I have to get up so early to do it!

Now I am off to sort and move books, and probably cull even more as I go...

words, words, words... aka Free Books

I've been sorting through books. There are many books in my house, and many of them are books I don't regularly look at or even want. These books can be yours!

Genre wise, there's non-fiction (some are old nursing text books), science fiction and fantasy (some are good books, but Adrian and I together brought two copies into the house), Canadian literature (moderate selection of Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, and Jane Urquhart among others), new-agey fiction books, general fiction/mystery, some weirdass romance books that were sent to me for free, a whackload of Luna imprint (romantic fantasy) books, and other random things.

If people don't want them, they will be sold to used book stores/donated to the children's hospital book sale.

Please contact me asap if you are interested in looking through, because I really want to get rid of some of the things we don't put to good use around the house. They are currently in the space that will be the nursery someday, and it needs to be emptied for demolition!

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